Category Archives: Lebanon

Electricité De Zahlé Has Gone A Bit Too Far

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The EDZ (Electricité De Zahlé) online campaign has been a brilliant one up until their latest ad. I love how they are shedding light on Zahle’s lifestyle and issues in a funny way and how they are bragging about their 24/7 electricity but they should have left guns out of it. In their latest ad which was shared yesterday, they show a young man from Zahle pulling a gun just because he couldn’t find a spot on the street to pee.

I don’t really understand what’s funny about that and I personally don’t know anyone from Zahle who carries a gun around with him when he’s out. Whether it does reflect Zahle’s society or not, carrying guns in public is dangerous and reckless. Moreover, this ad couldn’t have come at a worse time especially after what happened during Skaff’s funeral in Zahle last week.

I’m still jealous though that they have 24/7 electricity and water. Maybe they should think of promoting Zahle as a safe city and encourage Lebanese and tourists to visit it.


A Blood Donation Campaign On Ashoura

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Who is Hussain? and Donner Sang Compter Lebanon in collaboration with AUB MC are organizing a blood donation campaign today in commemoration of Ashoura.

This special blood drive aims to encourage those who commemorate Ashoura to “give blood for those who need it most and be like Hussain”. It will take place at the Crowne Plaza Beirut between 2:00 pm and 8:00 pm and the units will be donated to the Children Cancer Center at AUB.

For those of you who are not familiar with Ashoura, it is commemorated by Shi’a Muslims as a mourning day for the martyrdom of Hussein, the son of Ali and grandson of Prophet Mohammad during the Battle of Karbala some 1300 years ago. Re-enacting the battle has been long a tradition among the Shiite communities and involves in few areas self-flagellation in order to remember the blood that Hussein shed for them. Abbas cookies are also made during this day and they are quite good!

#DafaCampaign On November 1 To Help Families In Need All Over Lebanon

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Winter is coming and a lot of families in Lebanon are unable to stay safe and warm. The #DafaCampaign is aimed at helping all those in need of heating, warm winter clothing, toys, electronics, food and others …

The campaign was kicked off by Journalist Paula Yacoubian and is taking place on Sunday November 1 from 10 am till 6 pm at Martyrs Square and donations will be distributed to organizations and families in need all over Lebanon.

What I like about this campaign is that it’s aimed at helping all families and is not restricted to refugees or Lebanese. Just to give you an idea, 3.3 million people are in need in Lebanon, half of them are Lebanese. Moreover, we had 61% more POOR inside Lebanon since 2011 and 1.5 Million Lebanese are below the poverty line.

#DafaCampaign is taking place in 8 days so there’s plenty of time for everyone to gather the stuff that they don’t need and drop them. Hope to see you all there!


Is The New Traffic Law Still Working?

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I don’t think we need to compare stats between this year and the previous one to realize that the new traffic law, whose implementation started back in April, is no longer working. In fact, ever since I got fined for using my phone, which I insist I wasn’t, I haven’t seen a single cop on that same road. Moreover, I’m seeing more and more people use their phone while driving, as well as others driving recklessly, going the wrong way, parking illegally etc …

To make things worse, police officers and army men are still breaking the law without being punished. The other day on the Dbayyeh maritime road, I spotted an army man driving recklessly while talking on the phone and without the seat belt on, as well as a police officer driving the wrong way on a scooter without any helmet on.

In terms of numbers, Yasa confirmed back in August that the number of accidents decreased dramatically during the first two months (April & May) but then the numbers started increasing gradually. I looked up the stats per month that Kunhadi published (taken from ISF) and they surprisingly show that the number of crashes have significantly decreased this year but the number of fatalities didn’t change much. However, if you look at the Lebanese Red Cross numbers (August 2014 vs August 2015), you will notice that the numbers are very similar.


Another Failed Attempt?

Some people may argue that the new law needs time to be applied properly but I think the reasons why it’s not working are very clear and I’ve raised them already before:

– Policemen are still breaking the law and should be punished more severely when they do so as they are role models for others to follow.
– People are using wasta to remove the fines.
– The idea from the new traffic law should be to help people become aware of the traffic law and care about their own safety, not just fine them and send the money elsewhere.
– Lebanese should know that the fines they are paying are going somewhere to improve the infrastructure.
– The law is being applied in specific areas.

I once proposed an idea to help implement the new traffic law, stop Wasta and fix roads and I’m sure there are other ways to make this law work but it doesn’t look like anyone is interested in doing so.


august 2014

red cross aug 2015

About That Anti-Drugs Flash Mob in USJ

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Yesterday, rumors spread that an USJ student had a stroke due to a Captagon overdose and was rushed to the hospital. The news also said that he overdosed after he had an argument with the drug dealer on campus which doesn’t really make any sense.

تعرض الطالب كارل ضاهر إلى نوبة جراء تناوله لجرعة زائدة من حبوب الكبتاغون إثر خلاف مع المروجة وزميلته في كلية الطب في جامعة القديس يوسف في منطقة المتحف ليا ونّس.

As it turns out, it was all part of a flash mob organized by the Lebanese Forces Students at USJ and the USJ administration to raise awareness on drug abuse. Of course the initiative is a good one but that’s not really a flash mob or at least that’s a badly executed one because a flash mob consists of a “large public gathering at which people perform an unusual or seemingly random act and then disperse” and more importantly they should be spreading the video online to make the proper impact.

The only video I found online was the one of the young man being taken to the hospital which is misleading of course. If they’re planning on releasing one later on this week, it would be too late as the so-called flash mob is already over.

All in all, I’m not trying to criticize the anti-drugs campaign led by these students and the USJ administration but they should have advertised it in a better way to reach a larger audience and make the story go viral.

PS: On another note, the anti-drugs billboards were spot on. I loved the slogans used.


#ABCMissionPink On The Way

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ABC Lebanon is launching a very cool breast cancer awareness campaign during October and I’m proudly taking part in it. To be honest, I am not a big fan of photo shoots (even at my wedding) and ads and I rarely share pictures of myself but this is for a good cause so I thought I give it a try and it was actually fun!

In fact, I’ve been getting a lot of positive feedback on the [teaser video] which is great and I’m thankful to everyone! Stay tuned as the revealer video will be out sometime this week.

PS: It took me 3 to 4 minutes to figure out how to drive that old VW van. Switching to second gear was a true ‘Mission Impossible’ lol!

Who’s Spreading Rumors About Zaatar W Zeit?

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If I ask anyone about the food safety campaign that was kicked off few months ago, the only thing they will probably remember is the first list of restaurants that was announced by the Minister that included the likes of Roadster and Kababji surprisingly. Of course we still don’t know the nature of the violations at these restaurants, the standards applied to check these violations and if there’s any follow-up process.

I’ve been supporting this food safety campaign since day1 but I still don’t approve of the way the minister was flashing popular restaurant names in press conferences and causing serious damages to the businesses for reasons that are still unclear. Taanayel les Fermes for example got its share of bad publicity because most people mistook it for Centre Taanayel that was declared non-compliant.

Another example is what happened with Zaatar wou Zeit yesterday. I spotted an article early in the morning on Annahar saying that ZWZ received a warning from the ministry but I chose to ignore and check later on what ZWZ management had to say about it. As it turns out, they were unaware of any warnings addressed to them and they learned about it from the papers, which is quite absurd!

I traced back the article to the National News Agency but I couldn’t find anything on the MOH website. In fact, the latest health news there dates back to 2012.

All in all, sharing such articles can be seriously damaging and misleading and I think the MOH should investigate and make sure nothing is ever published without their consent. If there’s really a warning, we all deserve to know the whole story especially when the food chain in question is a very popular one.


What Happens To The Victims Of Car Bombs In Lebanon?

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Jennifer Chedid was seriously injured three years ago in Achrafieh after a car bomb targeted the head of the ISF information branch, Wissam el Hassan. Jennifer’s condition was very critical but she refused to die, fought back and recovered.

Three years later, Jennifer’s wounds still did not heal completely and her family is unable to admit her to the hospital when needed due to financial reasons and lack of support. To make things even worse, Jennifer is being bullied at school and she thinks that it’s normal and she “understands those” who mock her.

Jennifer had nothing to do with politics and just happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. Even though she survived the blast, she’s obviously in pain and unable to lead a normal life. This being said, the least the authorities can do is provide medical support at all time and make sure she’s fully recovered. Moreover, Minister Bou Saab should intervene and talk to the school principal to see why she’s getting bullied by other students because this is totally unacceptable!

I’m glad MTV shed the light on Jennifer and I hope they do the same with other car bomb victims.


Special Celebrations For Weddings/Funerals/Baptisms/Graduation In Lebanon

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wtf Source

Forget the fireworks, the Zaffe and the go go dancers, there’s now a cooler way to celebrate your birthday, a first communion, your wedding, your graduation or even mourn your beloved ones. Several packages are being offered at highly competitive prices and satisfaction is 100% guaranteed (If you manage to get out alive).

Until the packages are finalized, here’s a glimpse of the promotions being offered and the safety measures taken:

– If you just gave birth to a boy and he’s the first boy in the family, two B7 shots will be offered for free. If it’s a girl, a special discount will apply.

– If you’re getting married soon and wish to drive a tank to church, you will have to take tank driving lessons or pay a bribe of $500.

– If you’re having a big funeral and don’t want your guests to get hit by stray bullets, we can arrange to fire towards neighboring towns for an additional fee.

– If the sound of gunshots is not too loud, you can hire our multi-talented “Zouzou ebba” BMW drivers to make more noise.

– If your kid failed to graduate and you had placed your order in advance, you get a 20% discount and your kid gets to fire 10 rounds for free as a consolation prize. Insurance policy will not cover anyone who gets hurt in the process.


Jokes aside, I’m not just writing this to criticize what happened in Zahle during Elias Skaff’s funeral procession, and the fact that armed gunmen were roaming around officials firing in the air, but because some people are actually proud of this heavy firing and believe that it’s the right and “manly” thing to do. We’re lucky no one got hurt during this funeral but we’ve seen how many people were injured or got killed in Beirut due to celebratory gunfire.

What they fail to understand is stray bullets can hit anyone at anytime and kill them, and that their “manly” actions could end up killing innocent people and possibly one of their own. Firing in the air during any occasion is a dangerous habit that needs to be ended once and for all in Zahle and elsewhere for everyone’s sake.